It’s all about Heartbeat

11th September, 2015 — Aral Balkan


Focusing on the solution

Today marks a change in direction for the Friday roundup as we shift our focus from the problem to the solution.

Laura has done an amazing job in the past 27 roundups (yes, it has actually been 27!) Every week, Laura chronicled the atrocious antics of people farmers like Facebook and Google, and brought you the latest in privacy and human rights-related news. However, it’s time for us to focus our energies on what makes us unique; especially as there are others who do an amazing job reporting on the human rights abuses of mainstream technology.

For example, you must follow the wonderful Julia Powles, who writes tirelessly on these issues in The Guardian. Also, Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier, PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty are must-reads.

As much I love the roundups, it takes a day, sometimes two, out of Laura’s week to prepare. Now that Heartbeat is pre-alpha, our focus has to be on the unique value that we can bring to the area. While others report on the issues, we are working on the solution: Heartbeat.

Going forward, our focus will be on Heartbeat and our weekly updates will reflect that focus.

New funding site is young, broke, and beautiful.

It didn’t help that our initial crowdfunding page was costing us over $200/month in hosting alone. Last week, I finally made time to rewrite it in Node.js. We can now take recurring donations and the new lightweight page has slashed $200 off our monthly hosting fees.

If you want to support our work, please consider becoming a patron by setting up a recurring monthly donation. If we can get those up to ~$200/month, it would cover our hosting fees. You can also make a one-time donation on the site.

Heartbeat’s first public demonstration

The video of me demonstrating Heartbeat at The Conference in Malmö last month is now on the main page of It showcases our focus on accessibility. Please share it with your friends.

Talks and Consulting

As part of our drive to raise funds for, Laura and I are also available for talks and consulting.

Onwards and upwards

I know that I, for one, will miss Laura’s roundups and I’m sure that many of you will also. It is, however, crucial for us — given how tiny we are — to focus. We still have the radar on the Forum where you can share human rights and privacy-related news. And, if anyone else wants to take up the mantle of compiling a weekly review, please feel free to use the forum for that also.

I’ll leave the last word to Laura…

It’s been great writing the weekly roundups for the last 28 weeks (I only missed one week!) I’ve learned so much. But it’s clear that, particularly with such limited resources, I need to spend my time on other elements of Heartbeat and

I’ll still try to share interesting links I come across on our forum’s Radar and, of course, on Heartbeat!